The Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe has a total of 642 members from 47 member states. In general it meets for one week 4 times per year at the Palace of Europe in Strasbourg.
The Iranian opposition leader warned: “The Iranian regime’s participation in the anti-ISIS coalition is a hundred times more dangerous than any form of Islamic fundamentalism, under the cloak of Shiite or Sunni Islam,” since that participation would “provide the regime the room to act and to go on the offensive and engulf other regional countries in death and devastation.”
She addressed and responded to questions from the two groups in their official meetings regarding the threats posed by Islamic fundamentalism and extremism and ways to confront them.
Recent terror incidents in France and Belgium have contributed to heightening of concerns regarding Islamic fundamentalism and the threat it poses in Europe. Rajavi met to discuss this issue with several senior officials of the Council during her visit.
In assessing the role of Tehran in the crisis of terrorism and Islamic fundamentalism Rajavi said: “In recent months, the expansion of ISIS has created great concern in the international community. But without the existence of a fundamentalist power, the intellectual and ideological breathing space for the emergence and expansion of such a group would not have existed.” She added, “Were it not for the ruthless suppression of the Sunnis in Iraq and Syria by the Iranian regime and its puppet government in Iraq, ISIS would have never emerged in that country. It was the actions of the Bashar Assad regime which indirectly paved the way for the formation and expansion of ISIS in Syria.”
Rajavi was also the keynote speaker at a special meeting of senior members of the PACE from various countries and political groups. Members from the U.K., Finland, Italy, and Spain spoke at the meeting.
The Iranian opposition leader has addressed political groups at the European Parliament and at the PACE on several occassions, and she has frequently outlined her vision of the necessary elements of a successful strategy for confronting the threat of Islamic fundamentalism. In her most recent speech, she specifically highlighted eviction of the Iranian regime from Syria, the overthrow of the Assad regime, eviction of the Iranian regime, the Qods Force and its Shiite militias from Iraq, and insisting on democratic and tolerant Islam against fundamentalist interpretations, whether Shiite or Sunni,” as necessary elements of a successful strategy in confronting Islamic fundamentalism.”
Rajavi criticized the West for showing weakness in its handling of the Iranian regime’s pursuit of a nuclear weapon, and she warned that by partnering with the regime in the fight against ISIS or by allowing it to meddle in Iraq and Syria, the West would only be encouraging Tehran to further take advantage of that weakness.
“Some policymakers, though out of naiveté, deliberately seek to accept the regime’s interference in Iraq to encourage it in abandoning its nuclear weapons,” she said. “But if the mullahs become more aggressive in Iraq, they will not abandon their quest for a nuclear bomb.”
According to Rajavi the ultimate solution in dealing with the crisis of Islamic fundamentalism “lies in the overthrow of the Iranian regime as the epicenter of fundamentalism and terrorism. Indeed, with the regime’s downfall, al-Qaeda, ISIS, Hezbollah or Houthis will no longer present a serious threat to peace and democracy, will be deprived of power and influence, and will ultimately turn into isolated and inconsequential groups.”